Saturday, 27 June 2015

27th June 1815: George Coldham's informer writes of a meeting with Gravenor Henson & talk of revolution in Nottingham

27th June 1815.

I was with Sampson Walker yesterday morning about the [Corporation] having a list of the Ludd's names. He began to chastise me as soon as he saw me & advised me to have nothing to do with it. I told him I had nothing to do to do with it, & the Connection I had with these men was only just formed & they could not have my name. He said Lomax the Grocer told him the Corporation had had the names a month since & that there was no doubt they had gone up to Government & they might suspend the Habeas Corpus Act & put anyone into Prison without shewing why.―He told me by all means to drop the Connection as Revolution was not to be brought about by the means they proposed & he had told Burton to call again, but he should have nothing to do with it.—When I left Walker about 9 oClock I went to Stevens the Needlemaker in King Street, Woolpack Lane.―He began to talk to me about a Revolution & Gravenor Henson came in — Gravenor began to talk about getting money & he asked me if old Newton of Bullwell had not got a good bit of Gold.—I told him I understood he had but I did not know where it was.—He said ‘Oh damn that, we’ll soon find it when we get there, I asked him how we were to find it. He said ‘Oh damn that we would soon make him tell, by putting him in bodily fear by getting some hot water & pouring on his legs, hanging him up, or giving him a good hiding or some such way.—We talked about the Revolution. He said he could raise 25,000 men in 2 hours.—As for such fellows as Dr. Wylde & all those black gowned [Gentleman] he would send them to New South Wales where many a brave fellow had been sent — He said there were three men in Nottm. shd. die & nothing should save them.―I asked him who they were — He said one was Coldham the Town Clerk,—Stevens of Mansfield & Beecher of Southwell. These he said should have no mercy.—We had a deal of talk about a Revolution―Burton came & heard part of this Conversation.—He talked of the same method as before proposed by Slater of finding where the arms are by getting hold of some of the heads of the Town & making them tell where they are. — Remained with till about noon — Was with Burton, John Mann, Badder, Holmes, and John Slater to night at the Leather Bottle.—They called me out into the Street & told me they thought it would be better to lay aside the Yorkshire Journey a few days — The reasons they assigned were — their suspicion of John Greaves who was Secretary to the Committee of the late Petitioning.—They said he has a Cousin at Coldham's Office & he has been in the habit of going there sometimes. They did not say that he had told of anything that he had discovered anything on there but that Mr. Coldham had once said to him he had too much of Sir Francis Burdett in him, & they said that Mr. Coldham would not have said so to him unless he had been saying something to Mr. Coldham — Holmes swore if he found out, that any man was hunting his blood he would hunt his.—They agreed that John Greaves is to be told it had all dropped on account of this news & then they should get rid of him.―They agreed we were to meet next Sunday or Monday and if I had anything to communicate I might come to John Mann at the Leather Bottle & he would let them know, & I told them they might find me at Hollingworth's.

Dann is 5 f. 6 or 7 inches high.. has redish hair and wiskers largish palish complexion.―thin face rather long – a tooth out in front, think on the top jaw – is franfreckled – generally wears blue Framework Pantaloons, walks upright & quick off the Ground - has a fullish eye, color, blue.―Teeth rather yellow – longish nose aquiline or roman, mostly wears a Jacket, a kind of Fustian without laps, – looks cleanish mostly. —

When Gravenor Henson was talking about the means to be used to effect a Revolution he said the first thing to be done was to set fire to Lombard Street where all the Banks were & then when the Mail brought that intelligence it, must be the signal to begin every where else. The next thing London must be shoved out & we could go to thro the Country in 9 days.―He mentioned many Towns where there were arms & the People were ripe & what Towns would be of Service — He mentioned so many I cant remember them.—He spoke of many in Yorkshire & Lancashire & a Barracks where there were only 500 Soldiers and many arms. This place must be attacked & the Arms seized & it would strike a dread upon the Country.—He said a great deal that I cannot repeat about the means to be adopted & the measures to be pursued by the Revolutionists.

This document can be found at HO 42/144.

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